This week we’re featuring #TRYNorthWestBrunswick and we spoke to Paola about the Italian Kindergarten Program running for 3 and 4-year-olds.
The Italian program, that began in 1996, helps to integrate Italian language into every day Australian life at North West Brunswick Kindergarten. As most children don’t speak Italian when they start at the service it is important for the staff to speak both English and Italian. The Italian language is brought into the service through routine and scripted instructions and as the child has heard the same phrase since their first day, they will understand general phrases.
Other great ways to integrate the Italian language into kindergarten is through songs, cooking and literature. But Paola indicates that it is still a Kindergarten and though the Italian program is exciting, a child’s wellbeing and relationship with the staff is the most important.
“It’s all about the balance but we do try to speak as much Italian as we can”
Many studies show that learning a second language, especially in the early years, will enhance a child’s overall mental development. It is a great way to encourage children to use parts of their brain that wouldn’t normally be used. This can help to develop great reading and cognitive skills. Studies have shown that learning a second language helps children to learn to read quickly, use and understand language in flexible and creative ways, express themselves in a clear manner, and use language to reason.
Not only helpful for the child’s intelligence, Bilingualism also has incredible effects on self-esteem and confidence of a child.
Another great benefit of learning a language is to promote awareness and understanding of culture and diversity. It develops not only an interest in cultures different to their own but also a feeling of respect. Respect and equality are such beneficial life skills and can really shape the lives and morals of young children.
North West Brunswick Kindergarten encourages their community to help out in the program – from inviting Italian grandmothers to share their cooking and language skills, to collaborating with the local primary and secondary schools. This community involvement encourages the young children to recognise and respect different cultures.
There are hundreds of reasons to send your child to North West Brunswick Kindergarten which is why families from all over Melbourne continue to travel here for the program and the staff.